January 27, 2013

Watch your step

Sidewalks can be a problem in Buenos Aires. They are often cluttered with all kinds of things, or in some sort of disrepair. To be fair, some of these same problems can be seen in other cities too, but I've never seen anything quite like what I've seen here. And to be clear, I love this city, and not all sidewalks are terrible. Still, it's best to keep one eye on the ground while walking.

Cars get to park on the sidewalk, for brief times, though no one knows what that means.

Of course you can park your motorcycle on the footpath too. Sometimes it's even okay to drive your bike down the sidewalk to save a little time.

Tree branches get cut and never seem to get taken away. Card board boxes appear, as do other things. Sometimes they stay where dropped for days.

Garbage accumulates on corners through the day and does get taken away during the night. For the most part.

It's the general disrepair that is most noticeable. There is much construction going on in this city and sidewalks are not a priority. I wonder how persons in wheelchairs, or those visually impaired, manage to get around. Or do they?

There is immense beauty in this city. In spite of the potential pitfalls, that beauty is all around us, and one of the best ways to see it is to simply walk. Carefully perhaps, but walking nonetheless.

And every once in a while, while walking on a sidewalk in Buenos Aires, you will come upon something perhaps unique to Argentina. The remembering of someone who mattered to a community. A tile carefully prepared and placed in the sidewalk, and protected day to day, by people who care.

Here lived Eduardo Goldar Parodi.
A popular activist for the public good.
Arrested and disappeared by state terrorism.
September 9, 1977
Neighbourhoods for Remembrance and Justice.

We should all care.


  1. Hi Jim. That tile is for my uncle. I am pretty sure I saw this in the past but my sister reposted in her Facebook. These tiles are ment to remember those who disappeared by the government in the 70's.

    1. Hola Juan

      Thank you for viewing this blog entry.

      I was deeply moved when I came upon this tile while walking in BA, and by other examples of remembrance I saw throughout the city and the country.

      I am sorry for the loss of your uncle so many years ago due to state terrorism. It is obvious he was loved and cared for by his community, then and now.



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